Marco Rubio vs. Joe Scarborough

Someone has the bigger pulpit.

Once you’ve gone through every iteration of election related conflict–interparty, intraparty, media vs. pol–why not keep that convenient narrative device going by repeating the cycle?

New in the media vs. politician category is an apparent conflict that has blossomed between GOP candidate Marco Rubio and Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough. This battle has been raging for half a year, or, according to Scarborough’s firsthand account in Politico–

Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign has spent the past six months shopping a story to news organizations that suggests my reporting has been influenced by some long-held personal grudge between Rubio and myself. It’s an interesting narrative, but it’s not true.

If this has been going on, in real or imagined form, for that long, why is it coming to the surface now? Rubio’s third-place-as-first-place win in Iowa piqued interest in coverage is our guess. That, and an email shared with the The New York Times.

The email, between a Morning Joe producer and Rubio aide asking why Rubio won’t appear on the show, is a mere emblem of a beef that, according to Ashley Parker and Jonathan Martin‘s lengthy report, “transcends media, politics and state lines” between two men who “were ascendant conservative stars in Florida until their paths diverged.”

The end result is a dog-chases-tail cycle of Rubio’s continued absence from a show whose hosts fill that space with Rubio criticism.

Today, Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski even got to do that outside the confines of their own show in an appearance on Yahoo News Live. “And then you have the New York Times doing a piece on Joe and Marco and this piece was the type of piece that like, three other websites had called him about over the past six months,” said Brzezinski, repeating Scarborough’s earlier claim. “It’s something that the Rubio campaign has been actually been shopping to try and make Marco Rubio look like a victim of Joe’s attacks, when really the problem with Marco Rubio has to do with his lists of accomplishment, which is incredibly short.” Burn.

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